Credit hours:

Course Summary

This course is designed to help foster parents and caregivers understand and support permanency for foster youth. In this course you will learn that permanency comes in many different shapes and sizes, and that different people can provide different types of permanency for foster youth. FosterClub believes permanence is vital to a youth in and from care's success in life, and that foster parents can play a vital role in this helping youth establish this.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • The federal definition of permanency

  • Statistics for permanency outcomes

  • Your role in helping children and youth establish permanence

  • Youth perspective about permanence

  • Build skills to speak to children and youth about permanence

Step 1

Read this FosterClub Real Story written by Aaron Weaver explaining how achieving permanency can make a significant contribution to a young person’s time spent in care.

Step 2

Read "Permanency: More Than Just Homes." The article was written for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers, and contains relevant and valuable information for foster parents and caregivers

Step 3

Read pages 1-5 of "Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children" from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Step 4

Review the National Foster Youth Advisory Council's (NFYAC), a group of young leaders who have experienced foster care, top ten recommendations for Ensuring Permanency for Youth in the Foster Care.

Step 5

Young people have a need for permanence even after they leave foster care. Read the blog "You Don't Age Out of Family" written by Julia Charles, a FosterClub Lived Experience Leader.

Step 6

Read this FosterClub Real Story by Aleks Talsky about the importance of educating young people on their permanency options and allowing them agency to determine their own permanency plan.

Step 7

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

What actions will you take to ensure children and youth in your care have an active role in their own permanency plans?

Step 8

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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Course Discussion

Rosemary1957's picture

Rosemary1957 said:

It is equal because the federal is the legal piece that that foster parent and children should be educated. And the youth is the voice and should be heard.
bcreach's picture

bcreach said:

I think both are important. In order to be an advocate for your foster child, you need to understand the legal aspects of permanency. I know in our area, not every child is appointed a CASA volunteer, and the caseworkers for the state are extremely overloaded with cases and cannot spend as much time on each case as they would like, or are even capable of. It falls to the foster parent to try to be the "child's voice" in the system. In regard to the child's understanding of permanency, it is vitally important that they have someone, hopefully several someones, who will listen to them and make them feel safe and loved in their world. Our existence is built around connections, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, church families, etc; no one succeeds in life alone. We were created for relationship.
HeatherPC's picture

HeatherPC said:

While both the federal definition and the child's(ren's) definition of permanency are equally important, in the end, one setting standards, the other speaking to the human aspect of the fostering experience....we all need to feel like we belong, fit in, can identify and be identified as being a part of something . As a foster parent, I have long felt that providing this support to our young adults as they transition is and was necessary. It was the missing component in reducing the statistics of failed transition from care to adulthood and independence. Lets face it, our children, and if we are to be truly honest, ourselves still needed the love, support and wisdom of our parents as we transitioned and got our sea legs; the real world is a scary place even for those of us ensured of unconditional love and support from our parents and loved ones, our young adults in the system are no different.
TheWolfePack's picture

TheWolfePack said:

The children brought into our home and under care need to know that we are here for them. They need to know they are loved and do have a place to call home. Our four foster sons have all returned to their families. We are happy that that was possible for them but should they have needed a place, they had it here. We need to listen to the children's idea of permanency. We need to make sure they feel connected to us and life as they traverse the system. We need to protect them from feeling 'lost'.
khomer's picture

khomer said:

As foster parents, we must always address the emotional needs of our children in care. Listen closely and you will find a way to show the youth how their idea of permanency can mostly fit the Federal definition.
gianna15's picture

gianna15 said:

We feel that both the federal definition and the youth version are important. The federal law drives the permanency process with timelines, court hearings and safety checks to insure the best possible placement for the child. The youth definition is where the heart and soul lies and trust can not be built without permanency. The youth have to make a connection with permanent individuals which help and support them for their future.
gianna15's picture

gianna15 said:

We think that foster parents should listen to both definitions because they are both equally important. The federal definition is the actually law that drives the way to permanence, where there are timelines and other safety precautions for the young. The youth definition is where the heart and soul lies and makes the child feel whole. They have to make connections with people its very hard for them to find trust without having permanency.
tasha46's picture

tasha46 said:

i think you can pay both parties involved attention both have goals they are trying to reach.
FCJessica's picture

FCJessica said:

Definitely the youths definition because the permanence is for them, to help them through the process of transitioning out of the foster care system.
Cali_R's picture

Cali_R said:

I think it is important to listen to both perspectives. The Federal definition is a good grounding, and a guideline to start with but, the youth perspective is the the driving voice. The youth is the one who needs permanence and their voice matters most.